Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence, which is the inability to control the release of urine. Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder neck or the urethra is blocked, and urine builds up in the bladder until it becomes so full that it cannot hold any more urine.

Overflow incontinence is usually treated with surgery to remove or relieve the obstruction in the urinary tract that is causing the bladder to overfill. If the obstruction cannot be relieved, the person may need to use a catheter several times a day to allow the bladder to empty regularly. If the bladder swells from the pressure of holding too much urine, a catheter that is left in the bladder and urethra (indwelling catheter) may be needed so that urine can empty continuously until the bladder returns to its normal size.

Last Updated: September 17, 2008

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology

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